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Shia

Handstand practise - Little and often or long sessions less frequent?

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Shia

Which do you think is more efficient in achieve a handstand or which has worked for you personally?

 

 

I used to practise daily but would become frustrated and seemed to get nowhere,but noticed when I had a good session and rested for a week or so I'd come back so much better and stronger. I've adopted once a week hard session (2 hours ish) on Wednesday with maybe 10 mins practise monday and friday

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Joshua Slocum

The best way to learn skills (e.g. balance) is to practice as frequently as possible. But you have to make sure you're not working too hard on each day, otherwise you'll always be worn out. 

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Rob Kowalski

Sounds like your issue was strength, not balance.  If you aren't strong enough to hold a handstand then resting for days between sessions will help, but once you have sufficient strength and it's just a matter of balance then the more frequent the better.  With that said, the grease the groove method may achieve both at the same time.

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Junkyard

I do handstands all day every day. Babies learn to walk and stand by doing it all day. I took that and turned it upside down and it's working for me. 

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Mikael Kristiansen

Depends entirely what you are working on and your capacity. For balancing its beneficial to train a bit every day at least 5-6 days a week with some of the sessions being longer. It is skill work and its best to stay away from training to failure. Short sessions with different focus during the different days work well.

 

For advanced balancing all day every day is a quick road to nowhere because you will get too fatigued get quality work done on the harder balances and strength moves.

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emos
 

Which do you think is more efficient in achieve a handstand or which has worked for you personally?

 

 

I used to practise daily but would become frustrated and seemed to get nowhere,but noticed when I had a good session and rested for a week or so I'd come back so much better and stronger. I've adopted once a week hard session (2 hours ish) on Wednesday with maybe 10 mins practise monday and friday

 

After years and years of getting nowhere, like you I suddenly made progress by ceasing to think of handstands as a "skill" and instead as a feat of strength (and other qualities), for while it is indeed balancing and a "skillful" act it's balance through strength and if you don't have the required strength, flexibility, etc. then it will never be possible, no matter how many times you try. Really, the idea of how to balance is pretty simple and not nearly as complex as so many other skills we may have tried at one time or another. Anyone can see the importance of "strength" in their handbalancing by fatiguing their hands, arms and upper body one way or another and then trying some handbalancing - suddenly you can't do very much at all, and your "balance" is terrible.

 

To this end I started doing a lot of wall work, negative handstand (headstand) pushups, headstand work like piking up and down, and a lot of horizontal "core" work as well. I also worked on my open-hand finger strength and things like that. Very quickly my handstands improved, and I could catch the balance more of the time, stay up for longer, exhibit better form, and so on.

 

From my experiences in real life I believe that the best handbalancers essentially skipped this initial phase altogether because their body structure and existing athleticism was such that they already had enough "strength" to go ahead and get enough non-fatiguing practice. The guys I know in person who are the best handbalancers could walk around the gym floor on their hands the first time they tried anything like it - completely different bodies to mine, completely different. More involved resources such as those found here make a very strong point about this and take a trainee up through many different positions and exercises before letting them loose at freestanding handstands and other things, but all over the internet (and in real life) you can find people suggesting that all you have to do is keep attempting handstands and you'll get them. This apparently works for some, but certainly doesn't for those of us whose bodies are not physically able to hold a handstand in the first place.

 

Anyway - after a while of building myself up like that I finally had the physical ability to "practice" certain aspects of handbalancing as well. My focus is still always gaining more crude strength/endurance/flexibility and so on, because that's the foundation upon which everything else is built, but when you have a certain amount of it you can spend some each session on practising the skill side of things as well.

 

I would say that the important thing is to keep the two ideas separate. Train technical and "brain intensive" things at the start of your workouts while you're fresh, and don't take them to the point of fatigue, always stop well short of it. Then, afterwards, you can do heavier and cruder work (most of mine is still against the wall, I think that's great for anyone) to hopefully build up more strength, which will later allow you to work on skills for a little bit longer, and so on. I've found that relatively frequent practice works great in the short term so long as I stay WELL away from fatigue during those sessions. Almost every day, even. Then one or maybe two harder "strength" sessions each week, depending very much on what other exercise you take.

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Cody Ward

I recommend after your strength training, preferably a few hours after, just practice kicking up to a HS for a good amount of time. No need to tire yourself or anything, just kick up, try to hold it, come down, rest, repeat.

At one point, I did that for 30 minutes a day or more and I got good at it fast. Frequency is key IMO.

Also, a big part of it is actually understanding how your body should be positioned and how to actually control the balance. You should also be able to hold a wall HS easily, but I'm sure you can already do that.

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Rajan Shankara

For me, i went through two phases. First, i started out by training handstands eveyday. After about four months i had a regular two minute handstand, super arched, being arched i can hold for awhile. Now, using H1, i just do handstands when i have time, maybe two times a week after Foundation and inbetween jump rope. My form is slowly improving. I think i have made more progress lesrning from Coach with two sessions a week than i did when i trained one hour everyday. One can train for as long or short as they want, if their learning the wrong techniques than its unpoductive.

I trained handstands like no tomorrow, hour long sessions everyday. I even trained through wrist pain and eventually it went away. But, that was all kind of impatient and unprofessional, and now im trying to break out of the arch i grew so comfortable with. So, IMO, the most efficient way to achieve a proper handstand would have been to learn from a competent teacher, safely and slowly. Using H1, it doesnt seem to matter about session length or frequency as much as getting the progressions down. Going hardcore for 4 momths really didint give me much to show for it, had i gone through H1 though for 4 months with two days a week i would have been more skilled today. My situation is similiar to what Yoda said "You must unlearn what you have learned."

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